Tag Archives: Homeless People

In May 2017 Pete White, Represented By Carol Sobel, Filed Suit Against The City Of Los Angeles, Charlie Beck, And Officer Kenny For Arresting Him While He Was Filming Cops V. Homeless In 2016

Pete White being arrested while filming the LAPD on June 14, 2016.
In May 2017 Pete White of the Los Angeles Community Action Network, represented by Carol Sobel, filed suit in federal district court against the City of Los Angeles, Charlie Beck, and some cop named Officer Kenny. The basis of the complaint is that Kenny ordered Pete White’s 2016 arrest while he was lawfully filming LAPD interactions with homeless people on Skid Row. Pete White claims, and it seems right to me, that he was arrested in retaliation for his activism on behalf of homeless residents of Skid Row.

For some reason, this suit does not seem to have been reported on in the real news media, and I’m interested, so I’ll be at least collecting the pleadings here. You can find them:

Or, if you prefer, here is a copy of the initial complaint, which is the only item of consequence that’s presently available. There are selections after the break.
Continue reading In May 2017 Pete White, Represented By Carol Sobel, Filed Suit Against The City Of Los Angeles, Charlie Beck, And Officer Kenny For Arresting Him While He Was Filming Cops V. Homeless In 2016

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Kerry Morrison’s Ruinously Expensive Obsessions With Homeless Outreach And Guns Cause Severe Cutbacks In BID Patrol Service Even As Expenditures Go Up, Up, Up — HPOA/CHC Books Cooked In 2015 To Obscure This Trend — Time For An Intervention!

Kerry Morrison at the Central Hollywood Coalition board meeting on November 8, 2016.
Kerry Morrison at the Central Hollywood Coalition board meeting on November 8, 2016.
Watch and listen here1 to an interminable discussion at last Tuesday’s meeting of the Board of Directors of the Central Hollywood Coalition2 about how to pay the increasing cost of the armed BID Patrol while, at the same time, maintaining or expanding dedicated “homeless outreach” services, also provided by Andrews International. In particular, staff is asking the board to approve a 5% increase in the A/I budget for next year to cover salary increases and so on.

Here are some numbers. A/I pays its BID Patrol officers $31.50 an hour.3 Almost certainly the BID is paying A/I significantly more than that. Also note that base pay for A/I unarmed officers is $13 per hour. In other words, armed officers cost about 2.5 times as much as unarmed officers. If A/I’s markup to the BID is a percentage of its HR costs then this ratio will hold constant regardless of what the BID is actually paying.4 Now, most BIDs in the City of Los Angeles do not have armed security. In fact, as far as I can tell, the two HPOA BIDs run by Kerry Morrison are the only BIDs that do.5 We have written before about Kerry Morrison’s disturbing and utterly disproportionate love of guns, and that’s probably enough to explain her insistence on armed security despite the high cost.6 And the cost is very high. According to the Sunset & Vine BID’s 2015 independent audit, the BID paid $805,608 for security out of total annual expenditures of $1,542,735.7

And what do they get for that? It’s explained in this exchange from last week‘s meeting.8 It’s essentially four dedicated officers per fourteen hour day, backed up by officers from the Hollywood Entertainment District, with slightly less on Sundays. Assuming 8 hour days, and not adjusting for Sundays, this is 11,648 hours per year.9 Dividing this into the 2015 security expenditure yields a rate of $69.16. The 2013 contract between A/I and the HPOA gives the markup rate as 82% for BID patrol officers and 55% for supervisors, so this is roughly consistent with a base hourly rate of $31.50.10
Continue reading Kerry Morrison’s Ruinously Expensive Obsessions With Homeless Outreach And Guns Cause Severe Cutbacks In BID Patrol Service Even As Expenditures Go Up, Up, Up — HPOA/CHC Books Cooked In 2015 To Obscure This Trend — Time For An Intervention!

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David Ryu’s Staff Evidently Considered and Rejected Lisa Schechter’s and Media District BID’s (Illegal, Unethical) Plea For A Council Motion Regarding Oversize Vehicle Parking In February 2016

Lisa Schechter in February 2016, right around the time that David Ryu's staff was quite sensibly deciding to ignore her illegal and unethical lobbying to ban RV's in the Media District.
Lisa Schechter in February 2016, right around the time that David Ryu’s staff was quite sensibly deciding to ignore her illegal and unethical lobbying to attack homeless people by banning RVs in the Media District.
Recall that in August 2016, Mitch O’Farrell and Mike Bonin introduced a motion in Council to attack the homeless by prohibiting RVs from parking overnight in the Media District BID. This was as a result of lobbying by Lisa Schechter, now executive directrix of the Hollywood Media District BID, but formerly Tom LaBonge’s high muckety-muck for something or another. The full story is here. At the time I wondered why David Ryu hadn’t seconded the motion, given that (a) Schechter had lobbied him heavily to do so, and (b) a significant part of the Media District BID is in CD4:

[His non-involvement] suggests the possibility that Ryu isn’t as invested in pleasing these BIDdies as O’Farrell is. Or maybe he’s sitting it out because his staff has made him aware that Schechter’s up to something sneaky.

Well, I recently obtained emails from CD4 that bear on the matter. These are heavily redacted, but interestingly, as is sometimes the case, the redactions themselves tell part of the story.
Continue reading David Ryu’s Staff Evidently Considered and Rejected Lisa Schechter’s and Media District BID’s (Illegal, Unethical) Plea For A Council Motion Regarding Oversize Vehicle Parking In February 2016

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Crime Does Pay At City Hall: Anti-RV Resolution Introduced In Council This Morning At Behest of Media District BID Director Lisa Schechter, Acting in Apparent Violation of Her Post-Employment Lobbying Ban

RVs on Lillian Way between Santa Monica Blvd and Melrose Avenue
RVs on Lillian Way between Santa Monica Blvd and Melrose Avenue
This morning, CD13 Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell introduced a resolution seeking to impose restrictions on parking oversized vehicles in a semi-industrialized sliver of the Hollywood Media District BID located roughly between Cole Avenue and Vine Street west to east and Santa Monica Boulevard and Melrose Avenue north to south. There is a never-ending flow of these seemingly innocuous items in the agendas of our esteemed Council, but I just happen to know an awful lot about the backstory to this one, which is anything but innocuous, actually, and is the subject of today’s post.

The Media District BID is particularly attractive to people living in RVs because it’s industrialized, so no night-time neighbors to annoy, and it’s close to the center of Hollywood. Especially on Lillian Way and its cross streets, Romaine, Willoughby, and Waring, there has been a thriving but quiet community of RV-dwellers for years on end. But the Media District BID hates it. They just can’t deal with it. For instance, see this email chain from March 2015 where Hollywood cop Julie Nony discusses how to get rid of them with erstwhile Media District BID director Steven Whiddon and a bunch of overprivileged proprietors who don’t understand the concept of public space. But, probably not surprisingly, Steven Whiddon was unable to orchestrate any lasting action.

RVs on Lillian Way between Santa Monica Blvd and Melrose Avenue
RVs on Lillian Way between Santa Monica Blvd and Melrose Avenue

So enter Lisa Schechter, employed by erstwhile CD4 rep Tom LaBonge until June 30, 2015. Sometime between then and October 2015 she was hired by the Media District to replace the departed but unlamented Whiddon. Very soon after that, in fact on November 5, 2015, Schechter and current Media District Board President Laurie Goldman met with O’Farrell’s Hollywood Field Deputy, Daniel Halden. Dan was kind enough to supply me with a copy of his notes from that meeting, wherein (on the second page) one can read the portentous words: “Oversized vehicles Resolution — MAP.” There’s no question that this meeting between Halden, Goldman, and Schechter, is the genesis of the resolution introduced this morning by Mitch O’Farrell.
Continue reading Crime Does Pay At City Hall: Anti-RV Resolution Introduced In Council This Morning At Behest of Media District BID Director Lisa Schechter, Acting in Apparent Violation of Her Post-Employment Lobbying Ban

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First Step Toward Establishing Venice Beach BID to be Taken in Council This Morning

The beautiful Venice arcades on Windward Avenue, soon to be patrolled by BID goons in jellybean-colored tee-shirts.
The beautiful Venice arcades on Windward Avenue, soon to be patrolled by BID goons in jellybean-colored tee-shirts.
In its meeting today the City Council is slated to act on CF 16-0749, establishing a property-based Business Improvement District in Venice. This is a tragic but expected development in the ongoing degradation of what was once the loveliest neighborhood in this city. The impending clash between BID security and the politically organized, aware, and active homeless population of Venice is going to be cataclysmic. Once this BID is up and running I will be covering it extensively.
Continue reading First Step Toward Establishing Venice Beach BID to be Taken in Council This Morning

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LAMC 41.47.1: This Seemingly Unknown Municipal Bathroom Law Could Change the Whole Public Urination Discussion in Los Angeles, but it has Never Been Used

These signs are hanging all over the City of Los Angeles, and it turns out that they're completely unenforceable.
These signs are hanging all over the City of Los Angeles, and it turns out that they’re completely unenforceable.

Arrests for public urination/defecation are a fundamental tool in the war against homeless people in Los Angeles, as well as being a major part of the BID Patrol’s work in Hollywood. In 2015, for instance, the BID’s data shows that about 8%1 of the arrests that Andrews International made across the two HPOA BIDs2 were for public urination/defecation, which is a violation of LAMC 41.47.2.

When the City Council passed LAMC 41.47.2 in 2003, they were roundly (and rightly) criticized by advocates for the rights of homeless people, who pointed out that it was inhumane to criminalize an activity that is necessary to sustain life without providing a practical alternative. My colleagues have written before about how Councilmembers responded to this by promising informally that it wouldn’t be enforced if there were no nearby public restrooms and by promising to install more public restrooms around the City. However, they failed to amend the actual statute, which has led to widespread abuse.3 And 13 years later there aren’t significantly more public restrooms.

However, there is another part of the public urination law, LAMC 41.47.1, which is never even mentioned in discussions of the issue, and yet it is not only relevant, but radically, transformatively relevant. It was adopted by the Council in 1988 and says:

If restroom facilities are made available for the public, clients, or employees, no person owning, controlling, or having charge of such accommodation or facility shall prohibit or prevent the use of such restroom facilities by a person with a physical handicap, regardless of whether that person is a customer, client, employee, or paid entrant to the accommodation or facility. Employee restrooms need not be made available if there are other restroom facilities available on the premises unless employee restroom facilities have been constructed or altered to accommodate the physically handicapped and such facilities are not available elsewhere on the premises.

This has the potential to change the entire conversation about public restrooms, public urination, and homelessness in Los Angeles.
Continue reading LAMC 41.47.1: This Seemingly Unknown Municipal Bathroom Law Could Change the Whole Public Urination Discussion in Los Angeles, but it has Never Been Used

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In December 2015 Garcetti Held Invite-Only Meeting to be Sure Homelessness Policies were Acceptable to Business Leaders, Including Carol Schatz, Central Hollywood Coalition, Central City Association, Others

Alisa Orduna in November 2015, just about a month before the Mayor's BID Round Table on homelessness.
Alisa Orduna in November 2015, just about a month before the Mayor’s BID Round Table on homelessness.
Yesterday we obtained some emails exchanged between Garcetti homelessness czarina Alisa Orduna and Central City Association flacks and criminals, Marie Rumsey and her boss, Carol Schatz, the zillion dollar woman, whose creepazoid views on homelessness already have a disproportionate influence on city policy. The main thing is an invite from Alisa Orduna to Carol Schatz to attend

…an Intimate Round Table
[sic] discussion… This meeting is invite-only and intentionally small to learn and discuss strategies for BIDS [sic] that are addressing homelessness in way one [sic] or another so that we can include the City’s plan is [sic] inclusive of this perspective.

This is bad enough, that Garcetti solicits the intimate opinions of these delusional BIDdies, who not only just make stuff up about the homeless but whose ultimate homeless policy is terrorism. It’s bad enough, as we said, but the reasons are even worse:

Mayor Garcetti is very committed to working with CCA and the other BIDS to develop homelessness policies and practices that address homelessness without unintentional harm to our business community. In the long run, we need businesses to provide pathways out of poverty through self-sustaining wages and pride in individual ability and skills.

Continue reading In December 2015 Garcetti Held Invite-Only Meeting to be Sure Homelessness Policies were Acceptable to Business Leaders, Including Carol Schatz, Central Hollywood Coalition, Central City Association, Others

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Epic Fact-Finding Journey to Echo Park to Document What Will Be Lost if the Proposed BID is Established and Call to Political Action!

If the BID is established forget about food trucks.  BIDs freaking hate food trucks.  Especially if they're near a restaurant, like this one on Logan Street North of Sunset is.
If the BID is established forget about food trucks. BIDs freaking hate food trucks. Especially if they’re near a restaurant, like this one on Logan Street North of Sunset is.
If the Echo Park BID is established forget about little old ladies selling flowers, like this one on Sunset Blvd. just West of Echo Park Avenue.  BIDs freaking hate little old ladies!
If the Echo Park BID is established forget about little old ladies selling flowers, like this one on Sunset Blvd. just West of Echo Park Avenue. BIDs freaking hate little old ladies!
If the Echo Park BID is established forget about signs like this.  BIDs freaking hate signs on the sidewalk.
If the Echo Park BID is established forget about signs like this. BIDs freaking hate signs on the sidewalk.
If the BID is established in Echo Park say goodbye to RVs around the Park itself.  BIDs freaking hate RVs.
If the BID is established in Echo Park say goodbye to RVs around the Park itself. BIDs freaking hate RVs.
Due to some kind-hearted click bait1 bestowed by loyal FOMs Esotouric, my colleagues’ recent post on the resurgence of the long-dormant proposed Echo Park Business Improvement District has turned out to be one of our most popular posts of 2016. The colleagues left out some absolutely essential information and so I’m following up on their behalves. Also I used the whole situation as an excuse to ride the 704 Eastbound to Echo Park Avenue and Sunset Blvd. to check out the situation on the ground.

First the essential info: This thing is on the agenda for the Economic Development Committee meeting on Tuesday, May 10, in room 1010 in City Hall. You can go tell them what you think about it. Unfortunately I have other commitments, and I’m sure approval is a foregone conclusion, but there’s the info if you want it.

Second, as you can see from the images accompanying this post, if the BID’s approved a lot of stuff is going to change out there. They’re going to chase off taco trucks. BIDs hate taco trucks with a passion that’s hard to understand. They even, believe it or not, hate taco trucks parked on private property. Showing an astonishing ignorance of the rights of property owners in a free society, they’ve been known to express amazement that they’re not against the law.

If the BID is approved, sidewalk signs have got to go. BIDs freaking hate sidewalk signs. In fact, one of the very first things Kerry Morrison did in the 1990s after the Hollywood Entertainment District BID was established was to go after businesses with signs on the sidewalk. Why? Who the hell knows? It offended her sense of order or something. Why should Echo Park expect anything different.
Continue reading Epic Fact-Finding Journey to Echo Park to Document What Will Be Lost if the Proposed BID is Established and Call to Political Action!

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In 2013 The Andrews International BID Patrol Arrested Homeless People at More than 57 Times the Rate that the LAPD Did and were Responsible for 1 in 14 Homeless Arrests in Entire City of Los Angeles

The BID Patrol can't make its numbers just arresting one homeless person at a time.
The BID Patrol can’t make its numbers just arresting one homeless person at a time.
(I apologize in advance for this necessarily data-heavy post, but it’s essential information).

In 20131 the BID Patrol arrested homeless people at more than 57 times the rate that the LAPD did. Furthermore, they were responsible for more than 1% of all arrests made in the entire City of Los Angeles that year even while working only 0.13% of the hours that the LAPD did. Approximately one in fourteen arrests of homeless people in the entire city of Los Angeles that year was made by the BID Patrol.

Here’s how I calculated these figures: That year the LAPD made 14,838 arrests of homeless people2 whereas the Andrews International BID Patrol made 1,096 arrests.3 Reading through A/I’s 2013 arrest reports and examining A/I’s 2013 arrest photos I see no reason to believe that the BID Patrol arrested non-homeless people in 2013 in any significant number.4
Continue reading In 2013 The Andrews International BID Patrol Arrested Homeless People at More than 57 Times the Rate that the LAPD Did and were Responsible for 1 in 14 Homeless Arrests in Entire City of Los Angeles

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Shame, Shame on Carol Schatz: The Zillion Dollar Woman’s Duplicity is Revealed by Propositional Logic Even Though She Just Wants to be Fair to “Homeless Individuals”

Carol Schatz's duplicity laid bare by Venn diagrams!
Carol Schatz’s duplicity laid bare by Venn diagrams!

UPDATE (3/17 9:40 a.m.): Just now the City Clerk sent out the agenda for a special meeting of the City Council tomorrow morning, amended to include the very change described in this post, requested by Carol Schatz only yesterday. Now THAT is political juice. Disgusting.

Carol Schatz, she of the zillion dollars an hour paycheck, just this evening with respect to Council file 14-1656-S1, on homeless people’s property, had a letter to the Council appear, advocating a change in conjunction from “and” to “or” in the proposed statute. Here’s what Carol Schatz had to say about the current proposal:

The ordinance from the City Attorney transmitted to the PWGR committee1 only leads to a violation if a person refuses to remove a tent and obstructs removal.

And why is this bad, Carol? Pray, do tell:

This is unreasonable in light of limited city resources. It would require the continued involvement of the LAPD to have tents deconstructed on a daily basis, which is not practical or the best use of resources. It also does not meet the City’s goal of decriminalizing homelessness.

And not only that, but look:

This is unfair to homeless individuals, business owners, residents and other community stakeholders.

You read it here second, friends! Carol Schatz is concerned that some City law is unfair to homeless people.2 Carol Schatz, the homeless people’s friend! Well, anyway, that line about the proposed law not decriminalizing homelessness is true, at least. Arresting homeless people because they won’t remove their tent and obstruct its removal “…does not meet the City’s goal of decriminalizing homelessness.” After all, it provides a way to arrest people, and only homeless people are affected. So what’s her solution? We are glad you asked! Read on for details:
Continue reading Shame, Shame on Carol Schatz: The Zillion Dollar Woman’s Duplicity is Revealed by Propositional Logic Even Though She Just Wants to be Fair to “Homeless Individuals”

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